10-0: SMC football crushes this season
From the first game of the season, an away game in Palm Desert on September 5th until the last game of the season, a 63 point shutout at home against LA Pierce, the SMC football team has had one of the best seasons in school history.
Coach Lindheim has coached the Corsair football team since 2009, have now won his 5th consecutive conference championship. "From a statistical standpoint, the '15 team has been the most dominant," said Lindheim.
Lindheim is correct, statistically this year's team is beyond dominant; the numbers never lie. The SMC Corsairs are first in the state in points per game (49.8), yards per game (517.7), passing yards per attempt (9.5) and third down conversion rate (47%). Furthermore, they are second in state in both total rushing touchdowns (34) and defensive interceptions (20). The numbers only paint half of the picture of how good the Corsairs have been this season.
On both sides of the ball, offense and defense, the Corsairs have numerous standout players that have shown themselves to have the potential to continue their collegiate football careers to the next levels of the sport.
The star player for Santa Monica has been starting quarterback Troy Williams. The former two-time City Section player of the year while at Narbonne High School was a "bounce-back" transfer prior to this season after leaving University of Washington.
In search for another chance to reach the upper echelons of collegiate football, Williams has consistently performed as one of the best junior college football players in not just the state, but in the country. In the most recent junior college recruiting rankings, 247sports.com has ranked Troy Williams as the #14 best JuCo player in the nation. In nine games for the Corsairs (miss one game due to illness), Williams has thrown 2,367 yards and 24 touchdowns, while also adding 7 touchdowns on the ground. His phenomenal performances have earned him an athletic scholarship offer from currently NCAA Division I-FCS top 25 ranked program, the University of Utah, where Williams has committed to playing at next season.
On offense, the Corsairs have not been one dimensional, they have beating teams through both the air as well as through the ground.
So far this season, the running backs for Santa Monica have tallied a total of 2,179 yards and found the end zone 34 times. The leading rusher for the Corsairs has been sophomore running back, Roger Jones. After leading the team in rushing yards last year, Jones repeated this season by rumbling for a 908 yards on the season. However, the most eye-popping stat for Roger has been his ability to find the end zone. Jones has rushed for a whopping 15 touchdowns.
On the other side of the ball, the Corsairs defense has had numerous players show that they have game changing, playmaking abilities. Sophomore linebacker Marquis Lomax has lead the Corsairs in tackles (46), but has also shown that he can perform in pass coverage as evident by his two interceptions, one of which was returned 98-yards for a pick-six in the last game against LA Pierce.
The other team standout playmakers on the defense, Max Lyons and Birdel Hodge, both played together at Crenshaw High School and continue to showcase their talents. The defensive back of the Crenshaw Connection, Max Lyons, is second on the team in tackles (41), has a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, three interceptions and had a 100-yard kick off return against LA Pierce. Linebacker Birdel Hodge has been laying it on opposing quarterbacks all season. Hodge has registered an astonishing ten sacks this season.
Even with all the talent that Santa Monica possesses, the Corsairs will have their hands full when they square up against a Victor Valley College Rams team that has won 9 of their 10 games this season.
"I feel good about our team this year and our chances, even though we're facing a program that has won 20 of their last 21 games," said coach Lindheim in anticipation for this upcoming Saturday's game.
The Corsairs and Rams are facing off for the SCFA American Division Championship Bowl this Saturday, November 21st at 6 p.m.
If the Corsairs can pull through with a victory this weekend, it will be the first undefeated season for the Corsairs since 1980. Back in 1980, the coach was Pat Young, who was previously the quarterback for the Corsairs in the 1958 Junior Rose Bowl victory that gave SMC their only junior college championship in school history. Sans Pat Young, this Corsair team might arguably be the best team fielded by SMC in history.
The Corsairs have a chance to etch their names into the school's history books after what has been an unbelievable season. There is no better way to put it than coach Gifford Lindheim phrased it himself, "I'm excited to see how the story ends..."